CJ7 Jeep

A tidy 1983 or 1984 CJ7 on the highway at speed. (Courtesy Eric Booth)

The Canadian Forces acquired a total of 195 American Motors Corporation CJ7 Jeeps beginning in 1982 as a temporary measure to enable units operating in Canada to have a reliable vehicle for training and utility requirements.

These trucks were essentially off the shelf, commercial model Jeeps with a straight 6 cylinder engine, manual steering, 205/75R15 tires, and a four speed manual transmission. The interiors were fitted with black, low back seats and a green vinyl soft top and doors. All vehicles were adapted for the installation of the RT524 series radio sets with the inclusion of a 12-24 volt converter under the driver’s seat. They were also fitted with footman loops under the hood for storage of a shovel, and bumperettes and tow rings on the rear cross-member.  Modifications seen in military service were generally limited to red rotating beacons on military police vehicles or wire cutters fitted to the front bumper of reconnaissance jeeps. Less common additions were fiberglass hardtops and steel doors used by certain units during the winter months.

In 1982 the Canadian Forces purchased 55 new CJ7s from the American Motors Corporation. The initial batch was acquired primarily for use by armoured units of the militia as they were having a reliability issues with the aging fleet of M38A1 jeeps still in service.

A year later, in 1983, there was a second purchase of 60 vehicles which basically conformed to the configuration of the 1982 examples. These vehicles appear to have been used by numerous branches and are seen in many diverse roles. The third and final purchase of 80 vehicles came in 1985 and incorporated minor improvements from the earlier vehicles such as high back bucket seats, a stronger transmission and fasteners to mount a gas can bracket on the left side of the vehicle, in front of the driver door opening. These later vehicles were primarily used by Service Battalions but as time went on, they may be seen in the use of other units as utility vehicles.

All vehicles were delivered to DND painted with the AMC fleet colour “Olive Drab DT7471” overall. In some cases vehicles appear in standard 3 colour camouflage consisting of “Olive Drab 503-321”, “Green 503-319” and “Black 512-301”. The small number of vehicles purchased outside of these three groups were finished in gloss green DND fleet colour “Dupont 1753” with Tri-Service decals on the doors.

With the introduction of the Iltis fleet in 1987, the militia units requested their CJ7s be retained as extra vehicles, the majority being ultimately retained for this use with some going into war stocks at training centres. These vehicles were assigned a onetime repair expenditure limit of $500, after which time they would be disposed of as beyond economical repair. As the vehicles aged within the fleet some parts were replaced due to wear including the unique green tops that were at times replaced with standard black examples.

 The CJ7s were generally very well-liked by members of the Canadian Forces but were noted for their lack of off-road performance when compared to the military specification M38A1Cdn2 and Cdn3 and M151A2 vehicles they often replaced. The CJ7s were never really sold off in quantity, but rather trickled out of the system as they reached the $500 repair limit with the last examples being sold off as late as 1996.  The majority of the later vehicles were solid with low mileage when they left the service, factors that saw some examples fetching as much as $2,300.00 at Crown Assets disposal auction.

The Canadian Forces assigned each vehicle a unique Canadian Forces registration number (CFR) but these were only universally marked on the licence plates. Yellow or white stenciled markings often appear on the dash panel, seats, top etc. but they are by no means consistent and may be different on the same vehicle. Grease pencil markings were often placed on hood, fender fronts or bumper when the vehicles were being disposed of but these markings were often faint or painted over and rarely survive.

Finally, the Equipment Configuration Code (ECC) number assigned to the CJ7 was 121526 which identified the vehicles as having been equipped with “Adapter Kit/Electronic Equipment” (AKEE). As there is no significant variants, the fleet was assigned only one ECC for all three purchases.

At the end, the CJ7 was overlooked for preservation by DND and few examples we earmarked. There are only three examples known at this time to have been preserved as monuments, any other remaining examples that were disposed of in public auction are now sought after by military vehicle collectors due to their comparatively modern features, drivability and iconic Jeep form. 

The listing of Canadian Forces Registration (CFR) numbers below reflects the holdings of 1982, 1983 and 1985 CJ7’s at the time of their disposal. The list does not contain vehicle serial numbers (VIN’s) but they have been included where available. Any details or images that can be added to this list are very much appreciated.  Interestingly, a review of the data reveals that the 1982 purchase was assigned to the eastern part of Canada while the 1983  was predominantly used in the West.  The 1985 purchase seems to have enjoyed a more broad dispersion but is not seen to be issued in the Maritimes. 

1982 Purchase

YearCFR VINLast Holding Unit Image/ Notes
198244825 CFB Halifax
198244826 CFB Halifax
198244827 CFB Halifax
198244828 CFB/ASU Gagetown
198244829 CFB Halifax
198244830 CFB Halifax
198244831 CFB Halifax
198244832 CFB Halifax
198244833 CFB Halifax
198244834 CFB Halifax
198244835 CFS St John’s
198244836 CFS St John’s
198244837 CFS St John’s
198244838 CFS St John’s
198244839 CFS St John’s
198244840 CFB Greenwood
198244841 CFB Greenwood
198244842 CFB Greenwood
198244843 CFB Greenwood
198244844 CFB Greenwood
198244845 CFB Greenwood
198244846 CFB Greenwood
198244847 CFB Greenwood
198244848 CFB Greenwood
198244849 CFB Greenwood
198244850 CFB Greenwood
198244851 CFB Greenwood
198244852 CFB Greenwood
198244853 CFB Greenwood
198244854 CFB Greenwood
198244855 CFB/ASU Gagetown
198244856 CFB/ASU Gagetown
198244857 CFB/ASU Gagetown
198244858 CFB/ASU Gagetown
198244859 CFB/ASU Gagetown
198244860 5 CFSD
198244861 5 CFSD
198244862 CFB MONCTON
198244863 CFB MONCTON
198244864 5 CFSD
198244865 CFB/ASU Montréal
198244866 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198244867 CFB/ASU Montréal
198244868 CFB Goose Bay
198244869 CFB/ASU Montréal
198244870 CFB/ASU Montréal
198244871 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198244872 CFB Goose Bay
198244873 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198244874 CFB Goose Bay
198244875 CFB Goose Bay
198244876 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198244877 CFB Goose Bay
198244878 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198244879 CFB Goose Bay

1983 Purchase

YearCFRVINLast Holding UnitImage/ Notes
198355965ASU Toronto
198355966CFB Toronto
198355967ASU Toronto
198355968CFB Toronto
198355969CFB Toronto
198355970CFB Toronto
198355971ASU Toronto
198355972ASU Toronto
198355973ASU Toronto
198355974CFB Toronto
198355975CFB Winnipeg
198355976CFB Winnipeg
198356977 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198356978 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198356979 CFB Winnipeg
198356980 CFB Winnipeg
198356981 CFB Winnipeg
198356982 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198356983 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198356984 CFB Winnipeg
198356985 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198356986 CFB Winnipeg
198356987 CFB Winnipeg
198356988 CFB Winnipeg
198356989 CFB Winnipeg
198356990 1JCCM87E5DT075085CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 44 Field Engineering Squadron.
Sold at Crown Assets sale in October 1993 for $1580.
198356991 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 44 Field Engineering Squadron.
198356992 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 44 Field Engineering Squadron.
198356993 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to Royal Westminster Regiment.

Seen in the vehicle compound of the Vancouver Armoury during 1988. (Western Command MVPA)

Seen in the vehicle compound of the Vancouver Armoury during 1988. (Western Command MVPA)
1990: Assigned to Seaforth Highlanders of Canada.
198356995 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 12 Service Battalion.
A tired looking 56996 parked with its replacement, the Iltis, (Courtesy Eric Booth)
1990: Assigned to 12 Service Battalion.
198356997 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 12 Military Police Platoon.
198356998 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 12 Military Police Platoon.
198356999 1JCCM87E6DT075094CFB CHILLIWACK
1990: Assigned to 12 Military Police Platoon.
198357000 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to 12 (Vancouver) Medical Company.
198357001 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to Rocky Mountain Rangers.
198357014 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to Rocky Mountain Rangers.
198357025 CFB CHILLIWACKUnknown Date: 12 (Vancouver) Medical Company.
1990: Assigned to Rocky Mountain Rangers.
198357088 CFB Moose Jaw
198357089 CFB Moose Jaw
198357090 CFB Moose Jaw
198357092 CFB Moose Jaw
198357093 CFB Moose Jaw
198357095 CFB CALGARY
198357096 CFB CALGARY
198357098 CFB CALGARY
198357115 CFB CALGARY
198357153 CFB CALGARY
198357299 ASU London
198357523 CFB LONDON
198357524 CFB TORONTO
198357525 CFB TORONTO
198357526 ASU London
198357527 CFB LONDON
198357528 CFB LONDON
198357529 ASU London
198357530 ASU London
198357531 ASU London
198357683 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Apr 24 To HQ Pacific Militia Area and held at 12 Svc Bn.
Unknown Date: British Columbia Regiment.

1985 Purchase

YearCFRVINLast Holding UnitImage/ Notes
198576556 CFB CHILLIWACK1990: Assigned to ARTS Vernon.
Unknown Date: 12 Service Battalion.
2000: Placed on Display at 12 Service Battalion
198576557 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198576558 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198576559 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198576560 CFB/ASU Edmonton
198576561 CFB Moose Jaw
(Courtesy Colin MacGregor Stevens)
1989: Rollover accident
Sold at Crown Assets sale for $1500.
198576563 CFB Winnipeg
198576564 CFB Winnipeg
198576565 CFB CHILLIWACKHQ Pacific Militia Area.
198576566 CFB CALGARY
198576567 CFB Winnipeg
198576568 CFB Winnipeg
198576569 CFB Winnipeg
198576570 CFB Winnipeg
198576571 CFB CALGARY
198576572 CFB CALGARY
198576573 CFB TORONTO
198576574 ASU London
198576575 CFB TORONTO
198576576 CFB TORONTO
Driving back to base after a rollover. (Courtesy Murray Davidson)
1988: CFB Meaford Military Police vehicle damaged in a rollover accident.
198576577 CFB TORONTO
198576578 CFB TORONTO
198576579 CFB TORONTO
198576580 CFB TORONTO
198576581 CFB TORONTO
198576582 CFB TORONTO
198576583 ASU London
198576584 CFB TORONTO
198576585 CFB TORONTO
198576586 ASU Toronto
198576587 CFB TORONTO
198576588 ASU Toronto
198576589 ASU London
198576590 ASU London
198576591 CFB TORONTO
198576592 ASU Toronto
198576593 CFB TORONTO
198576594 ASU Toronto
198576595 ASU Toronto
198576596 ASU Toronto
198576597 ASU Toronto
198576598 CFB TORONTO
198576599 ASU Toronto
198576600 ASU Toronto
198576601 ASU Toronto
198576602 ASU Toronto
198576603 CFB Borden
198576604 ASU London
198576605 CFB LONDON
198576606 CFB North Bay
198576607 CFB North Bay
198576608 CFB North Bay
198576609 CFB/ASU Petawawa
198576610 CFB North Bay
198576611 CFB TORONTO
198576612 CFB OTTAWA
1989 Assigned to 28 MP Platoon. (Credit: Robin Craig)
198576613 ASU London
198576614 CFSU (Ottawa)
198576615 CFSU (Ottawa)
198576616 CFB OTTAWA
198576617 CFB OTTAWA
Circa 1993 Assigned to 28 Service Battalion. (Credit: Robin Craig)
198576618 CFSU (Ottawa)Circa 1993: Assigned to 28 Service Battalion.
198576619 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576620 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576621 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576622 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576623 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576624 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576625 CFB/ASU Montréal
198576626 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576627 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576628 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576629 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576630 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576631 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576632 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576633 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576634 CFB/ASU Valcartier
198576635 CFB/ASU Valcartier

Image Gallery

A 1984 dated image of a CJ7 in gloss DND fleet green vehicle paint and tri-service markings with hardtop and steel doors fitted. Vehicles in this configuration were often used by base vehicle safety sections for wheeled vehicle driver training. Jeeps in this configuration were acquired by DND outside the purchases 1982,1983 and 1985. (Credit: DND)
83-56999 In early 1994 as it appeared in Season 1 Episode 20 of “The X Files” Note the distinctive green vinyl roof and doors used on Canadian military CJ7s and the lack of traction provided by the street tread tires! (credit: Fox Entertainment)
85-76612 In service with 12 MP Platoon in 1989. Note the 3 colour camouflage and red beacon. (Credit: Robin Craig)
Detail of the beacon used on some vehicles. (Credit: Robin Craig)
The rear of 85-76617 showing the M38a1 style rear bumperettes and D rings. (Credit: Robin Craig)
Dashboard of 85-76617 showing the typical stenciling. (Credit: Robin Craig)
On exercise with the Fort Garry Horse in the mid 1980’s (Courtesy atriggernotpulledintime)
Three Recce CJ7’s in line with an M38A1 in the background on exercise with the Fort Garry Horse. (Courtesy atriggernotpulledintime)
A mixture of camoflaged and single colour CJ7’s with the Fort Garry Horse with a squadron of Cougar AVGP’s. (Courtesy atriggernotpulledintime)
A CJ7, Cougar, and M38A1 on the range with the Fort Garry Horse. (Courtesy atriggernotpulledintime)


A special thanks must go to Steve Hawken, Colin MacGregor Stevens, Robin Craig, Rob Love, Eric Booth and Ed Storey for their assistance with information contained within this list and page.